Stoking that Fire in your Belly: Finding Inspiration Around You


Floats in Elliot Bay along the weterfront of Seattle.

The other day I was waiting on a phone call just staring into the sky. I was out on Camano Island north of Seattle. The hood of my Jeep made and excellent couch, the sky made a wonderful TV. The moving clouds were relaxing and as I pondered such things as the Grand Unification Theory and where to get lunch, two bald eagles soared over head.

I thought of this as they did: “For your vision to soar, it must be unfettered from the chains of rules. Learn those chains, then break free, and let your creativity fly.”

So I quickly wrote it down in my Idea Log (ahhh, another blog idea).

As I’ve been busy the past few months, I’ve not really written any blogs. In fact, I’ve just downright neglected it. My last blog was in April. Ouch.

It’s not that I don’t like to write, the opposite is true. I love to write, and I love to write about what I love: photography. It’s just that some things have gotten in the way.

Musician Marcus Fire plays the didjeridoo outsode of Pike's Place Market in Seattle.

I think one of them is how do I bounce back into writing my blog? And then my girlfriend Heidi Rae (here’s her Flickr page) said to me: You should write about inspiration.

One of the reasons she said that, I believe, is that I like to tweet inspirational sayings I’ve created. Sayings such as:

“When you do what you love, you find your true happiness. When you find that, everyone around you is happy.”

“It’s not the fear of failure that keeps you from doing what you want & love, but the fear of success. Today, you will overcome and succeed.”

“If you’re not out there pushing your photo limits, you will never improve. Trying new things and failing, is better than not trying at all.”

But the real reason is that she has become my inspiration, she is my muse. She doesn’t know how much I like talking to her about photography. She gets me motivated to go shoot.

But the best motivation to me is helping others succeed in photography. Just giving them simple tips and advice on how to improve. simple advice on balancing on camera flash with sunlight, using depth of field creatively, or figuring out which camera is best suited for them.

So, back in the saddle to begin writing again. Nothing is going to stop me this time, and I’m sure Heidi will be at my side to guide and help me.

Joshua Cumings peddles peppers, produce, and products in front of Choice Produce & Peppers in Seattle's Pike's Place Market.

So I repeat one of my favorite quotes:

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
Woodrow Wilson

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